ERIC Number: ED316805
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: 0
Multiple Roles, Spillover Effects and Psychological Distress. Working Paper No. 200.
Barnett, Rosalind C.; Marshall, Nancy L.
In spite of general concern about the impact on women's mental health of multiple roles, most studies have examined only the impact of individual roles. This study examined the relationship between multiple-role occupancy and quality and psychological distress in a disproportionate random sample of employed female health care workers (N=403). Subjects were interviewed in their homes or offices about their major social roles, psychological distress, well being, and physical health. The results indicated that there were no negative spillover effects from work to parenting or from parenting to work. Most importantly, there was evidence of positve spillover effects from work to parenting. Women with rewarding jobs were protected from the negative mental health effects of troubled relationships with their children. Moreover, this protection accrued to employed women regardless of their partnership status or whether they had preschool-age children. These findings suggest mechanisms by which women reap a mental-health advantage from multiple roles, even when some of those roles are stressful. Future research is needed to determine if the findings apply to women employed in non-health care occupations. (Author/ABL)
Descriptors: Employed Women, Job Satisfaction, Marriage, Mothers, Physical Health, Psychological Patterns, Role Conflict, Role Perception, Well Being
Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, Wellesley, MA 02181 ($4.50).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. for Occupational Safety and Health (DHEW/PHS), Cincinnati, OH.
Authoring Institution: Wellesley Coll., MA. Center for Research on Women.
Note: For related papers, see CG 022 355-358.